women’s art = art. I do wonder about the attribution. South of the Medicine Line very few people know about Métis culture, including Métis themselves. As historian Nicholas Vrooman points out in his book, “The Whole Country Was … ‘One Robe’”: The Little Shell Tribe’s America”, at the end of the 19th c the Métis/Michif were homeless. They petitioned for reserves but were fundamentally denied land. in fact, land was taken from them (on both sides of the border), more than a few times, and ‘allowed’ to settle on the dreck side – thus the name, the roadside allowance people.
The Métis/Michif of the Dakotas and Montana chose to join up with the Ojibwa, Cree, Assinaboine families and collectively they became the Littleshell Tribe – a de facto construct of settler intrusion, gov’t ‘management’ (I use that word with irony). Thus, a beautiful piece of work such as the one below, exquisite, may be Métis in provenance. The beading of flowers (we’re known as the flower bead people) on black backgrounds is perhaps the hallmark of our women’s art. The floral designs are thought to have been based on French floral embroidery designs, thus creating a polyethnic/original style.

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